Wood Chewing a Sign of Boredom;
May also indicate a nutritional deficiency

With the onset of winter, more horses will be spending most of their days stabled, often leading to time spent standing at the stable door, boredom and wood chewing. Wood chewing by horses is a potential cause of health problems including excessive wear of the upper incisors, splinter damage to oral parts, and colic associated with the ingestion of wood fragments. Not to mention, wood chewing is destructive and carries with it an economic factor due to the damage to stalls, rails and fence posts.
Wood chewing is reported in young horses, in particular when their temporary incisors are being replaced, and is a well-known predisposition seen in approximately 30 percent of the U.S. adult horse population. Several known conditions that cause wood chewing include boredom, nervousness, seasonality, the feeding program, confined environments and lack of social interaction. However, there are strong indications that nutritional deficiencies and poor housing environmental conditions are among the top reasons for the development of the condition.

A new product available to horse owners uses a nutritional approach to stop wood chewing by addressing underlying nutritional deficiencies and actually stops the potentially harmful behavior. Found at most tack and feed stores, QUITT® is scientifically formulated to eliminate a horse’s wood chewing habits. The powerful formula combines essential vitamins, micro and macro minerals, and fatty acids all in a pH balanced alfalfa pellet. Tests indicate that most horses will stop wood chewing seven to 10 days after daily supplementation with QUITT. As a complement to this nutritional approach, it is recommended that damaged wood boards in the barn be replaced and the horse provided with regular exercise.

Also damaging to horse and property is cribbing. Horses that crib will take hold of practically anything and arch their neck, gulp in air and grunt it out. There are several theories on why a horse enjoys the act. QUITT is specifically designed to address wood chewing. It is not designed to stop cribbing.

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